IMRO Spotlight – GRWL
Dublin R&B/pop artist GRWL delivers luxurious, soulful vocals layered on top of relaxing, subdued rhythms. Drawing influence from SZA, Clairo, and H.E.R., her music is enveloped in a hazy, sultry atmosphere – as with her gorgeous new track ‘Facetime’.
GRWL introduced herself last year with the stunning debut ‘Overstayed’, with her soothing vocals paired with intricate and candid narratives making for something truly special. Written in her bedroom, ‘Overstayed’ was an impressive introduction to her music and the stories her lyrics tell.
GRWL’s bedroom-pop offerings so far are just a taster of what is in store for next year. Plans to release more music are underway, and she is looking forward to getting back to performing gigs very soon.
How did you first get involved in music?
I’ve always sang since I was a baby. I was obsessed with atomic kitten and so many other bands. I started playing guitar at about 15 and began writing soon after that.
Did your gender ever affect your thoughts on pursuing a career in music?
To be honest, no, my gender never affected my thoughts on pursuing a career in music its always been so fun watching super talented women amount to everything they have wanted. I guess it’s always been a worry that you wont be taken as seriously but I’m really grateful to say I haven’t had to experience much of that.
Is there an assumed view of what your role is in music or what it ‘should’ be like?
My role in music is just continuing to do what makes me happy, people always say the day you stop loving it is the day you stop doing it but I disagree. I think when it moves from a hobby to something you want to do full time its a balancing act between working hard on days you’re not feeling it at all. So, at the moment my role is just to continue remembering why I do it all.
Have you seen attitudes toward gender in the music industry change over the years?
I think attitudes towards gender have changed over the years. There has always been artists pushing the boundaries in relation to gender. Artists such as David Byrne, Bowie, Prince, St. Vincent, King Princess, Princess Nokia, Lil Nas X and plenty more. Earlier artists such as Prince and Bowie have had a huge influence on these later artists who wont be put into a box based on their gender or sexuality. The more work that goes into making the industry more inclusive towards all walks of life the better. It can only be a positive thing. The sexualisation of female artists wearing certain clothes or acting in a certain way has seemed to have taken a back seat which is a really positive thing. Freedom of expression comes in many forms.
What advice would you give to those who want to start out in music?
I really don’t have any crazy advice other than to just keep playing, writing, and having fun with it. Take up every opportunity!! Do the bad gigs cause then nothing can phase you. When you have performed into an empty room it can’t get any worse!!
Who inspires you, and why?
I’m inspired by so many people in my life, my best friend Jane is one of the most resilient people I know she always gets on with life. No matter what is thrown in her way she manages to always be so kind. So, I rely on her a lot. Caoimhe Hopkinson who is one of the most talented musicians I know. She inspires me to play more, practise more!!! Surround yourself with people who care about you, forget the others, life is waaaay too short. Jane, Katie, Justin, Eoin, Eanna, Aoife, Romy and Adam to name a few, are some of my favourite people.
What do you look forward to accomplishing this year?
What I’m looking forward to accomplishing this year is to get back gigging, it’s all very overwhelming still so I’m looking forward to getting back to that. Looking forward to spending time with my friends, my 5 chickens, parents, sister, having a good time.
If you could give one message to the industry on how to better support gender balance and diversity, what would it be?
If I could give one message it would be to communicate with female artists – talk to them on their experience see what can be changed/worked on. Open up the floor, give everyone a chance. Judge people on their work and on nothing else.
Where can people find out more about you?
find out more about me on Instagram!!! @grwlgyal
This series features interviews with people working across different genres and sectors of the industry to assess how they feel about gender diversity and balance in music.